A Merry Christmas
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas…”
A local children’s choir sings cheerfully, but I hardly notice the music. I don’t even know why I came out tonight. My therapist recommended leaving my apartment at least once a week to socialize. The only problem is I never talk to anyone during these “social outings.”
“Man, I hate this,” I whisper to myself.
Groups of happy people are roaming the park, taking photos and enjoying the festivities. Why can’t I turn off my brain for just a few hours to enjoy the holiday? It wouldn’t kill me to stop worrying about the future for just a short time.
As I breathe deeply through my nose, I can sense the pressure build in my face as my eyes swell with tears. Oh no, not here. Quickly, I tilt my face down to hide from the gazes of concerned strangers. The last thing I need is for someone to come up and ask me about it.
“Excuse me, are you okay?”
Shit. Speak of the devil.
I sniff and force a shaky smile as I look up. Regret fills me as I stare at the handsome man before me. An angelic face with smooth, chiseled lines as if carved by God himself. On any other day, I would’ve been over the moon to meet such a man, but my luck is never that good.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little chilly. It’s winter, you know?”
Okay, breathe. That wasn’t too bad of a response.
He leans close until his face is mere inches from mine. From this distance, I can see each individual eyelash on his eyelids and the small pores on his cheeks. He stares at me for what feels like an eternity before moving forward. I close my eyes instinctively. Instead of my lips, it’s my ear that he touches.
“Take comfort. He has plans for you.”
As soon as he says the words, my eyes burst open. There’s no one there. The choir is still singing, and the crowd is still moving around the light displays. No one is acting like they’ve just seen a man disappear into thin air.
A burst of laughter erupts from my mouth. The sound is foreign, one I haven’t heard in a few weeks. It’s beautiful.